What Is African Beauty And Why Do You Need It In Your Life?
So here we are, in the full swing of 2021 :
- almost a year after the death of George Floyd, in the US, and the wave of protests worldwide against police brutality.
- around 5 months after the beating of music producer Michel Zecler, in France, causing a national outcry for racial justice.
Two countries, different in culture, social organisation, and history but both touched -albeit differently- by the plague that is racial inequality.
Thankfully these traumatic events have sparked a larger conversation, not only on violence against people of color but also on systemic racism and the lack of representation of people of color in all spheres.
In the US, initiatives like the 15 Percent Pledge have seen life, calling on retailers to match their representation of Black business owners on shelf to the Black population of America. Beyonce also launched on June 19, 2020, her directory of Black Owned businesses, the Black Parade Route, featuring African & African American owned brands.
In France, although the absence of racial statistics makes it harder to have data driven initiatives and clear information on the impact of racially based inequalities, Instagram pages such as blackownedbusiness.fr & jeconsommenoir have risen to the challenge of shining light on black businesses.
Why does representation and diversity matter ?
The world can be compared to a rainbow. A rainbow of different shades, shapes, ethnicities, abilities and religions but this variety of human experiences is often underrepresented in the media and in positions of power.
This lack of representation has been shown to have a negative impact on the way minorities view themselves and are viewed by society.
To put it simply, representation matters because as humans, we all base ourselves, our views and what we can achieve on the examples we see.
Not only this but, it has also been shown time and time again that diversity and inclusion have financial and productivity benefits for society as a whole.
What about the beauty industry?
In the beauty industry, lack of representation is especially impactful as the cosmetic industry often sets the standard for beauty in society.
This can lead to devastating effects on self-esteem and self worth for underrepresented groups.
Although there has been some progress in this realm in the last few years, true authentic progress seems slow to come. This is especially true in the skincare industry where major brands seem to be ignoring -whether with their advertisement or with their products -the needs of minority groups. Yes, skincare is universal but people of color are more prone to some skin issues like hyperpigmentation or melasma for example.
This is why a number of brands by Africans and the African diaspora have been stepping up, providing makeup and skincare products that work not only on black skin but on all skin. We call this phenomenon, the rise of A-beauty.
So what is A-beauty?
We use African beauty or A-beauty as an umbrella term for skincare products that originate from Africa and its diaspora. A-beauty emphasises the connection between science and the power of natural ancestral remedies full of raw ingredients, from the African continent such as shea butter, argan or marula oil to name a few. A movement that is guaranteed to appeal to skincare experts, clean beauty gurus and slow beauty aficionados alike, changing the world of skincare and beauty as we know it.
Knowing this, how can we move forward and impact change?
As consumers our biggest power is our voice. That voice is expressed not only through our blogs, our comments, our discussions with friends but also through our Euros.
This is why we are embarking on a journey to highlight skincare brands from Africa and its diaspora and inviting you all on this journey with us to diversify your vanity cases.
Africa and the african diaspora represent about 20% of the world population, what would beauty look like if these brands represented 20% of your toiletry kit?
Come along for the ride with us, let’s see where it leads.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels